There may not be one clear favorite to run away with the US Open this year, but there probably should be. Dustin Johnson has demonstrated time and time again that he can play very well and win when the courses are very long. His ability to hit the ball long off the tee, generally in the fairway, and then hit greens due to being so close gives him a massive advantage. His advantage should only widen as well, especially given that he will come into play this Thursday having won this week’s PGA Tour event.
Johnson dominated the St. Jude Classic in Memphis to finish -19, finishing six strokes ahead of the closest challenger. His final round was not played under difficult circumstances, showing just how comfortable he had it. With the win, he claimed the #1 spot in the world yet again, and he might take some undoing to get him off the top now. As a result of those two things, and the aforementioned length he has in his arsenal, he has been made the favorite by the bookmakers and pundits to win at Shinnecock Hills this week.
But Johnson isn’t the only favorite that people are talking about. Of course, the other big names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are being talked about. It has been ten years since Tiger won a major, doing so when he won the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines in a playoff with Rocco Mediate. That, though, was also the beginning of his downfall, with him announcing he would be done for the year after winning due to injury. Meanwhile, Phil has never won the US Open, and at his age, might not get many more chances to do so. There are compelling stories throughout the field to look for.
Other players that are rated very highly are Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Justin Thomas. Thomas is the epitome of consistency, while the other two are previous winners of the event. Spieth won the tournament by beating Johnson by a stroke, while McIlroy won all the way back in 2011 by a ridiculous eight strokes over Jason Day. Will it be these names, or will someone come out of left field to win? We’ll soon find out.